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Some of you may say im overly optimistic..or plain crazy..but i honestly feel the Cats defense will be better than last years stout squad. Yes, we lost two of the best defenders in in Guy and Trevathan, and both starting corners. WE will be better up front..where it truly counts. And if Marcus Caffey develops..i think that kid had a bright future. I look for Josh Forrest to be a special player..and I love the fact UK put the kid where he will be the best..even though he could have helped our TE position. Forrest has a uncoachable knack for intercepting the ball and taking those ints back for big gains and TD's. The kid had 3 ints in the state championship game..and has already picked off a int for a td in spring practice. At 6'4 230 and growing..with good speed(4.55?) by the time Forrest is a senior, we could be looking at a 6'5 250ish monster running a low 4.5, mabye even high 4.4, racking up sacks, ff, ints. And Joker has already said he feels Alvin Dupree is the next big thing at LB. Dupree was taking half of Wilsons snaps in the last few games last year..and Avery Williamson is a solid inside backer with experience. Throw newcomer and athletic dynamo Trayvon Paschal , and the new kids Kadeem Thomas, Khalid Henderson into the mix with Mcduffen and Daron Blaylock at Will..Uk lb corp will be very very quick and athletic.
Up front, Rumph looks like a beast this year, and Cobble is a true 2 gap run stuffer. Collins Ukwu is primed for a breakout senior season, and i though Mike Douglass looked like a emerging star at WSDE. Kid has a knack for stripping the ball, throw C.Coleman, Alvin Davis, and Morgans kid brother Langston Newton in here and you got a good group..without mentioning my surprise pick. Farrington Huguenin..whom I feel will lead Uk in career sacks in Minters agressive defensive scheme if he stays healthy. Huguenin is a monster at 6'5 265 with outstanding speed and explosion coming off the edge.
In the secondary..Neloms and Benton are returning starters..AShley Lowery looked like a SEC saftey to me..kids a big time hitter and looked plenty fast enough to me despite knocks on his 40 time. The only real fear is at corner..but we will be bigger an d more athletic there with Caffey, Eric Simmons, C.Rice and the true frosh. I wouldnt mind seeing Neloms play opposite Caffey some with Lowery and either Benton or Faulkner at saftey...Neloms played pretty well as a Cb..and would give us size and hitting there.
On a side note..I am so glad we got Rick Minter. I was no fan of Steve Browns passive, bend-dont-break defense. Look at the best teams..Bama, LSU, ect...you dont see them playing "Safe"..they attack you. If the UK staff could have found even a semblance of an offensive attack last year, we would have been a very good team...our d would hold the foes to little to nothing..then wear down after several 3 and out series. Anyone remember LSU? They got a favourable call to get a late td to go up 7 on us . WE help a very good georgia team to what? 19? and then theres Tennessee...we beat them without even a hint of a passing game.
Now all these kids have a much better grasp on Minters schemes..if we can mount a offensive attack that can generate first downs and score in the high 20's ..I feel we have a good shot at 9-3 type year. Thats a big IF though..7-5 being more likely.But if by some chance Pat Washington can work a miracle and a young WR or two can step up and play like a upperclassman..(Collins?Legree?Cunningham?) I think we can pretty much play with anyone on our schedule. Big help not facing the west powerhouses like Bama. I liked what I saw from Max Smith...as a 18 year old true frosh..standing in the pocket..taking hits..making big throws under pressure. Imagine what the kid could do if his recievers were making great catches instead of dropping routine ones half the time? Confidence is very underrated. If the offense can stay on the field and not wear our defense into the ground with 3 and outs after 3 and outs after 3 and outs..I think we will be a team to look out for as a sleeper in the East. Florida is down...Tennessee is way down..the bad thing is Vanderbilt had found a ace recruiter and good motivator in James Franklin..Georgia is loaded..and the Gamecocks are becoming a power. And we got Mizzou in the east..a threat to Uks climb upwards..make no mistake about it..just being in the SEC is a big recruiting tool..(for all save Uk for some odd reason..or so it seems). WE need to beat Mizzou..and keep beating them..they are a border state that puts out a few elite athletes each year..and only one of us..UK or Mizzou..will rise to challenge the Georigas and Floridas of the SEC East..the other, the loser..will be plummeted to the basement for the forseeable future. The Mizzou game will be similar to the Louisville game...and we saw how that works...Louisville wasnt much of a factor in NCAA football untill they started beating a weak UK squad..then they rose like creame..we took back the crown with a few consecutive victories and went to 5 straight bowls, only whetting cat football fans appetites for more..which, unfortunatly..has yet to arrive.
Lets hope Joker, Randy Sanders, and Pat Washington can find a way to score some points and move the chains this fall..do this..and we will do well...do not..and we wont do so well.
Good Lord, man. I didn't know novels were allowed on site. Just kidding. Good analysis.
Keep Calm & Stoops On..
novels usually have paragraphs. And I don't think you are crazy op, just overly optimistic. Much of what you said will likely be true, but it probably will not be enough to get us to 7 wins, let alone 9 imo. I say if all goes as well as can be expected, 6 wins and a crappy bowl, 7 wins in 2013, and 8 or 9 in 2014, but there are a lot of iff's in that. If we don't get 6 wins, and attendance is as bad or worse than last year, I'm afraid Joker will not be here in 2013.
We'll see what happens but I have to say that I'm really excited about our young talent on D. We've got seasoned talent at DT, emerging talent at DE, all SEC type talent at the Hybrid LB/DE spot. So up front we're good. Just gotta have some guys emerge outside. But I agree great athleticism in the young guys we've got on D.
On offense its anybody's guess.
This post was edited by tWhit on 4/11/2012 at 12:42 AM
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